Angelicas Salas, executive director of FIRM member-group the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and Artemio Arreola, state director for the Reform Immigration for America campaign in Illinois and Political Director for FIRM member, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, are both being honored for their outstanding work. The Tides Foundation has awarded them both with the Jane Bagley Lehnman Award for Excellence In Public Advocacy. The recognition goes to activists dedicated to advancing immigration reform.
Says Marissa Graciosa, director of FIRM, of Salas:
There is no truer voice for our communities than Angelica Salas. She has worked tirelessly represent each and everyone of us that are affected by this issue. Her dedication shows in her involvement in everything from advanced legislative strategy to her ability to listen to community members meeting in a local church basement. Angelica is truly a hero of our movement.
And, Artemio Arreola, what can I say? The million person march in Chicago in 2006 would not have happened without him. He represents the best of what it means to be a leader in your community.
FIRM could not be prouder of these two deserving and dedicated activists who will continue to work until we pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Congratulations Angelica and Artemio!
We are excited to announce that Angelica Salas, Executive Director of our partners at CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles) has been selected as a member of the prestigious International Advisory Council (IAC). The Board will serve for the Third Annual Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) conference to be held in Athens, Greece in November 2009.
“I am honored to be asked to serve alongside a group of talented individuals who are deeply committed and passionate about the well being of immigrants around the world. I am thankful for the opportunity to share what we are doing in Los Angeles and I look forward to learning from others,” stated Ms. Salas.
Angelica will be attending the first IAC meeting from April 23 thru April 26 in Athens, Greece. The 2009 GFMD will be hosted in Athens by the Greek Ministry of Interior on the 4th and 5th of November.
Yesterday, Congressman David Price (D-NC), the chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, spoke at length about his take on Homeland Security. One of his main points was the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Whatever the rationale, the next Administration must make immigration reform a higher priority and pursue it more effectively. Such reform will strengthen our economy, reaffirm the rule of law, and enhance homeland security, allowing DHS to focus more effectively on that small percentage of illegal immigrants that has the capacity and the intent to commit crimes and do us harm.
He also touched on the administration’s recent turn to an enforcement only policy. This is the same policy which Angelica Salas is denouncing, which is tearing apart families nationwide, detaining US citizens and forcing thousands of people into inhumane detention conditions.
The current Administration made some effort last year to promote comprehensive immigration reform, but it now seems to have turned 180 degrees toward an enforcement-only approach. This might be interpreted as an attempt to appeal to the most hard-line anti-immigrant segment of the population, but some have painted it as an effort to drive home the need for immigration reform by inflicting pain on businesses and communities who depend on these workers. If it really is some sort of perverse “tough medicine” policy, I find it doubly hard to understand, given the negative impacts on hardworking immigrants and their children, and because it has tradeoffs with other activities that could be helping to make our country safer.
Click here to read Congressman Price’s full remarks.